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As a member of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa, I’ve heard more than one person say, “my vote doesn’t count, so why bother?”

Our country was built on checks and balances, designed to give the people the ultimate power at the ballot box to determine their representation in government. Democracy and a government “for the people, by the people” seems more out of reach than ever to the voters who don’t believe their vote counts.

I’m no politician. Like you, I’m a citizen and regular voter who believes in democracy. I want the politicians I elect to prioritize our state’s real problems like crumbling roads, struggling schools, and closing hospitals. I want Oklahoma to be led by politicians who are truly representative of their community and serve their constituents’ interests instead of their own.

Oklahoma law currently allows members of the state Legislature to re-draw their own districts, behind closed doors, and without any oversight or input from the public — effectively allowing our politicians to pick their own voters.

I’m writing today to express my support for a newly-announced, citizen-led initiative that seeks to end the practice of partisan gerrymandering by establishing an independent commission of Oklahoma citizens to draw boundaries for state legislative and Congressional districts. This will ensure redistricting is done in a fair and transparent manner.

I urge you to encourage your friends and neighbors to work to end partisan gerrymandering and join our effort to put people before politicians.

Lynn Staggs
President, League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Tulsa